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PolishGrammar0 to A1 Course → Alphabet and Pronunciation → Polish Alphabet

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Welcome to the lesson on the Polish alphabet! In this lesson, you will learn about the unique letters of the Polish alphabet, including diacritics and digraphs. You will also have the opportunity to practice the pronunciation of each letter.

The Polish alphabet consists of 32 letters, which are based on the Latin alphabet. However, there are several additional letters and diacritics that make it distinct from other alphabets. Let's dive in and explore the Polish alphabet in detail!

Polish Alphabet[edit | edit source]

The Polish alphabet consists of the following 32 letters:

Polish Pronunciation English Translation
A [a] A
Ą [ɔ̃] Nasal A
B [b] B
C [t͡s] C
Ć [t͡ɕ] Soft C
D [d] D
E [ɛ] E
Ę [ɛ̃] Nasal E
F [f] F
G [ɡ] G
H [x] H
I [i] I
J [j] J
K [k] K
L [l] L
Ł [w] W
M [m] M
N [n] N
Ń [ɲ] Soft N
O [ɔ] O
Ó [u] U
P [p] P
R [r] R
S [s] S
Ś [ɕ] Soft S
T [t] T
U [u] U
W [v] V
Y [ɨ] Y
Z [z] Z
Ź [ʑ] Soft Z
Ż [ʐ] Z

Now, let's take a closer look at some of the unique letters and diacritics in the Polish alphabet:

Nasal Vowels[edit | edit source]

In Polish, there are two nasal vowels: Ą and Ę. These vowels have a nasal sound, similar to the French words "bon" and "bien." They are represented with an ogonek, a diacritic that looks like a little tail placed underneath the letter.

Soft Consonants[edit | edit source]

Polish has a set of soft consonants, which are represented by the letters Ć, Ń, Ś, Ź, and Ż. These consonants have a palatalized or "soft" pronunciation. The softness is indicated by an acute accent placed above the letter.

Digraphs[edit | edit source]

In addition to the single letters, the Polish alphabet also includes several digraphs, which are pairs of letters that represent a single sound. Some common examples include:

- Ch: [x] - This digraph represents the sound "ch" as in the English word "loch." - Cz: [t͡ʂ] - This digraph represents the sound "ch" as in the English word "church." - Dz: [d͡z] - This digraph represents the sound "ds" as in the English word "woods." - Dź: [d͡ʑ] - This digraph represents the sound "j" as in the English word "joy." - Dż: [d͡ʐ] - This digraph represents the sound "g" as in the English word "gem."

These are just a few examples of the digraphs present in the Polish alphabet. It's important to familiarize yourself with these combinations in order to accurately pronounce Polish words.

Pronunciation Practice[edit | edit source]

Now that you're familiar with the letters of the Polish alphabet, let's practice the pronunciation of each letter. Repeat after the audio examples and pay attention to the correct pronunciation.

Vowels[edit | edit source]

- A: [a] - Pronounced like the "a" in "father." - Ą: [ɔ̃] - Nasal A, similar to the "on" in "song." - E: [ɛ] - Pronounced like the "e" in "bed." - Ę: [ɛ̃] - Nasal E, similar to the "en" in "cent." - I: [i] - Pronounced like the "ee" in "see." - O: [ɔ] - Pronounced like the "o" in "dog." - Ó: [u] - Pronounced like the "oo" in "moon." - U: [u] - Pronounced like the "oo" in "tool." - Y: [ɨ] - Pronounced like the "i" in "bit."

Consonants[edit | edit source]

- B: [b] - Pronounced like the "b" in "bed." - C: [t͡s] - Pronounced like the "ts" in "cats." - Ć: [t͡ɕ] - Soft C, similar to the "ch" in "cheese." - D: [d] - Pronounced like the "d" in "dog." - F: [f] - Pronounced like the "f" in "fun." - G: [ɡ] - Pronounced like the "g" in "go." - H: [x] - Pronounced like the "ch" in "loch." - J: [j] - Pronounced like the "y" in "yes." - K: [k] - Pronounced like the "k" in "kite." - L: [l] - Pronounced like the "l" in "love." - Ł: [w] - Pronounced like the "w" in "water." - M: [m] - Pronounced like the "m" in "man." - N: [n] - Pronounced like the "n" in "no." - Ń: [ɲ] - Soft N, similar to the "ny" in "canyon." - P: [p] - Pronounced like the "p" in "pen." - R: [r] - Pronounced like the rolled "r" in Spanish or Italian. - S: [s] - Pronounced like the "s" in "sun." - Ś: [ɕ] - Soft S, similar to the "sh" in "sheep." - T: [t] - Pronounced like the "t" in "top." - W: [v] - Pronounced like the "v" in "van." - Z: [z] - Pronounced like the "z" in "zebra." - Ź: [ʑ] - Soft Z, similar to the "zh" in "treasure." - Ż: [ʐ] - Pronounced like the "zh" in "leisure."

Remember to practice the pronunciation of each letter until you feel comfortable with the sounds. Listening to native speakers and imitating their pronunciation can also be helpful in improving your own pronunciation skills.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Congratulations! You have now learned about the Polish alphabet and its unique letters, diacritics, and digraphs. You have also practiced the pronunciation of each letter. Keep practicing and familiarizing yourself with the Polish alphabet, as it is the foundation for learning the Polish language.

In the next lesson, we will explore the basic pronunciation rules in Polish, including stress patterns, vowel and consonant combinations, and silent letters. See you there!

Table of Contents - Polish Course - 0 to A1[edit source]

Alphabet and Pronunciation

Greetings and Introductions

Basic Sentence Structure

Numbers and Time

Nouns and Articles

Family and Relationships

Adjectives and Adverbs

Food and Dining

Verbs and Tenses

Travel and Transportation

Polish Customs and Traditions

Videos[edit | edit source]

Learn Polish Language - Lesson 1 Alphabet - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Lesson 5 – Polish alphabet: U and Ó sound in Polish language ...[edit | edit source]

Lesson 6 – Polish alphabet: Ł sound in Polish language - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Polish Pronunciation Guide Unit 1 - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Grammatical gender of Polish nouns - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]

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